The Green Blue has developed a new green guide to help inland sailing clubs consider what they can put in place to carry out Check Clean approach for boat that move between freshwater sailing venues.
Since the launch of the Check Clean Dry campaign in 2011, The Green Blue and the RYA has provided a wealth of information and guidance to inland and coastal clubs about the steps they can take to minimise the spread of invasive non-native species (INNS).
INNS are animals and plants that have been introduced by human activity (on purpose or by accident) to parts of the world where they are not normally found.
These species can hitch a ride on boats and equipment and when unknowingly spread from one area to another, they can have a damaging impact on British plants, animals and ecosystems – by spreading disease, competing for habitat and food and direct predation. Species to look out for in freshwater environments include the Killer Shrimp and the Quagga Mussel.
The Check Clean Dry campaign’s fifth anniversary coincides with the national Invasive Species Week (29 February – 6 March), launched by the Minister for Biosecurity Lord Gardiner.
As part of the week-long awareness campaign, the RYA will be attending a meeting with Lord Gardiner at Walthamstow Reservoirs, one of Thames Water’s key recreational sites, which boasts a rich bird habitat with a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest making up the ten individual reservoirs. It offers activities such as angling, sailing, windsurfing and bird watching. The Minister will see how biosecurity measures are being promoted to water users.
Speaking ahead of his visit Lord Gardiner said: “Our country has some of the most precious wildlife and beautiful landscapes in the world, but by clogging pipes, overpowering plants and disturbing ecosystems, invasive non-native species can pose a risk to animal, plant and even human health.
“By checking and cleaning our water sport equipment after use and making sure garden plants do not escape into the wild, we can all help stop the spread of invasive non-native species.”
Project Manager for The Green Blue, Jane Swan, added: “Since 2011, The Green Blue has provided plenty of advice in a variety of formats on how boaters can help to prevent the spread of INNS around the UK’s inland waterbodies. The fifth anniversary of Check Clean Dry is a great opportunity to consolidate the advice into one simple leaflet specifically aimed at inland sailing clubs.
“The vast majority of clubs will be aware of and following Check Clean Dry. Although the principles are simple to grasp, we wanted to help them to think about how they are managing Check Clean Dry for the constant flow of boats to and from their sites, and especially the infrastructure they need to put in place for events that could see them having to manage large numbers of boats at one time.”